[Issue 076] The most "just" companies ⚖️


On Monday, Just Capital released its Just 100 list, which ranks America’s largest companies on the business practices Americans value most.

In order to form the ranking, Just Capital first asked 9,000 people what they most want to see from Corporate America, and the most popular answers were: 

  1. Pay workers fairly

  2. Treat customers well and protect their privacy

  3. Produce quality products

  4. Minimize their environmental impact

  5. Give back to the communities they operate in

  6. Commit to ethical and diverse leadership

  7. Create abundant job opportunities 


That definitely sounds like a list of things I would expect companies to do. 

And while the list, at first glance, didn't strike me as much different than other similar lists out there, I do love the receipts Just Capital provided for why these companies are outperforming when it comes to corporate responsibility:

  • 69% have conducted gender pay equity analyses, while only 8% of other companies have.

  • 92% offer flexible work hours or day care, while only 48% of other companies do.

  • 80% have extensive disclosure of PTO and parental leave policies, while only 20% of other companies do.

  • 53% of boards have a formal schedule to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters, while only 15% of other companies do.

  • Have on average 27% women directors, 6% more than other companies.

  • 96% have significant community engagement policies, while only 52% of other companies do.


On the other hand, while those are all great stats, they barely scratch the surface for the types of things I'm personally looking to see from Corporate America.


Pay equity analyses? Awesome, now go ahead and disclose that (hopefully audited) data publicly and while you're at it go ahead show us whether you pay your hourly employees a living wage.

PTO and parental leave disclosure? I don't just want disclosure, I want to see every company providing it and not just to salaried employees.

Your board considers ESG matters? Great! But you should also be ranked based on your voting record for related shareholder proposals. 

I'm not saying none of these things matter, because they absolutely do. In a world where companies are more than able to prioritize profits at the expense of people and the planet, there is often limited systemic incentive to do any of these things.

But if we're going to set the bar high and talk about the companies that are most just for the world, then I have to say this just doesn't do it for me. Working towards creating a moral and fair business model is not the same things as operating with one.

As always, hit reply and let me know your thoughts.



Did you know that only 14% of US employees have access to paid family leave? That leaves families with tough choices between making ends meet and being there for a loved one when when they are needed most.

The good news is that this year 20 companies introduced new paid leave policies, giving 5 million people new access to paid leave! So much of that success is a result of work done by Paid Leave US, a dope nonprofit pushing to win paid family leave for everyone.

So while I didn't fall in love with the Just 100 list, I am thrilled to share the Paid Leave US scorecard. What I love most is that you can view the data on dozens of companies to see exactly where they stand:


And when you have a moment, sign up to get involved so we can make even more progress in 2019: paidleave.us 💪


ICYMI... Wall Street Rule for the #MeToo Era: Avoid Women at All Cost. Since the take off of the #MeToo movement, there has been a unnerving trend among male professionals. Known as the Pence Effect, named after Vice President Mike Pence who infamously won’t dine alone with any woman besides his wife, many male professionals have started using discriminatory strategies in order to avoid claims of sexual harassment. Some examples include no dinners with female colleagues, not meeting in rooms without windows, not meeting one on one, and even booking hotel rooms on different floors. // BLOOMBERG

Disney’s €35 Ariel Doll Earns a Chinese Worker 1p. Rights group Solidar Suisse and China Labor Watch published a investigation which found evidence of illegal overtime, pay rates as low as 85p an hour, no holiday or sick pay, and high levels of exhaustion in the factories making Disney toys as well as toys for Mattel’s Fisher Price brand. // THE GUARDIAN

This Company Shifted to a Four-Day Workweek and It’s Going Great. A small software company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania named Wildbit has changed their work week to 32 hours a week, in order to get an extra day off on the weekend. Cofounder Natalie Nagele argues that workers can only do about four hours of meaningful and cognitive work a day, based on the book Deep Work, and because of this a shorter workweek will provide a better employee because they will have more time with their families, relaxing, etc, and will be able to do the same amount of work in less time. // FAST COMPANY

Africa Cocoa Industry Failing on Deforestation Pledge. The cocoa industry has failed to meet a publicized pledge it made to stop massive deforestation in West Africa. Chocolate companies, as well as the governments of Ghana and the Ivory Coast, have been responsible for tens of thousands of hectares of deforestation in the past year. // THE GUARDIAN

Making President Trump’s Bed: A Housekeeper Without Papers. The New York Times has published an interview with Victorina Morales, an undocumented immigrant who has worked at President Trump’s NJ golf course. In it, she describes the racist abuse and comments she has experienced, as well as her feelings on his stance on immigration while employing illegal immigrants. // NY TIMES

As always, the headlines were curated with the help of ABL's badass intern, Lora


"I find it difficult to believe that men who are so skittish around and suspicious of women were ever doing all that much to advance the careers of their female colleagues." 

– Kristen Bellstrom, via the Broadsheet 

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Nikita T. Mitchell